Cemile Sultan

Cemile Sultan (Ottoman Turkish: جمیله سلطان‎; 17 August 1843 – 26 February 1915) was an Ottoman princess, the daughter of Sultan Abdulmejid I and Düzdidil Kadın. She was the half sister of Sultans Murad V, Abdul Hamid II, Mehmed V, and Mehmed VI.

Cemile Sultan
Born17 August 1843
Old Beylerbeyi Palace, Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
(now Istanbul, Turkey)
Died26 February 1915(1915-02-26) (aged 71)
Erenköy Palace, Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Mahmud Celaleddin Pasha
(m. 1854; died 1884)
  • Fethiye Hanımsultan
  • Sultanzade Mehmed Celaleddin Bey
  • Sultanzade Sakıb Bey
  • Ayşe Sıdıka Hanımsultan
  • Fatma Hanımsultan
  • Sultanzade Ahmed Fazıl Bey
  • Sultanzade Mehmed Kazım Bey
FatherAbdulmejid I
MotherDüzdidil Kadın
ReligionSunni Islam

Early lifeEdit

Cemile Sultan was born on 17 August 1843 in the Old Beylerbeyi Palace.[1][2] Her father was Sultan Abdulmejid I, and her mother was Düzdidil Kadın, the daughter of Şıhım Bey Dişan. She was the ninth daughter and eleventh child of her father and fourth child of her mother. She had three elder sisters, Mevhibe Sultan three years elder then her,[3] twin elder sisters Neyyire Sultan and Münire Sultan, two years elder then her,[4] and a younger sister Samiye Sultan.[5]

In 1845, Düzdidil Kadın, died leaving Cemile Sultan motherless at the age of two. Abdulmejid took her to another of his wives, Perestu Kadın, and entrusted her into the lady's care. She grew up together with her half brother Abdul Hamid II, who was also adopted by Perestu, in the same household and spend their childhoods with one another.[6]

In accordance with the custom, Cemile Sultan began to take lessons in the Quran in 1847, together with her half-sisters Fatma Sultan, and Refia Sultan, and brothers Murad and Abdul Hamid.[7]


In 1854, at the age of eleven, Abdulmejid betrothed her to Mahmud Celaleddin Pasha, the son of the Imperial son-in-law, Damat Ahmed Fethi Pasha,[8] and his first wife Ayşe Şemsinur Hanım. Fethi Pasha had himself been married to Cemile's aunt, Atiye Sultan. The wedding took place on 17 May 1858, and was consummated on 11 June 1858. The couple were given a palace at Findiklı as their residence.[9] At her marriage, her mother-in-law presented Nazikeda Kadın, who would later become first wife of Sultan Abdul Hamid II to her.[10]

The two together had seven children, four sons, Sultanzade Mehmed Celaleddin Bey, Sultanzade Sakıb Bey, Sultanzade Ahmed Fazıl Bey, and Sultanzade Mehmed Kazım Bey, and three daughters, Fethiye Hanımsultan, Fatma Hanımsultan, and Ayşe Sıdıka Hanımsultan.[11][12]

The couple supported Abdul Hamid's accession to the throne, until the new Sultan's mistrust of Mahmud Celaleddin Pasha led to the latter's exile to Arabia in 1881, where he was strangled in 1884. Princess Cemile withdrew from society for some twenty years, afterwards reconciling with her brother and paying calls again at the palace.[13]


On ceremonial occasions Cemile Sultan took precedence as she was the eldest, and always took her place at Abdul Hamid's right. A large armchair was reserved for her on the right-hand side, where she took a seat. In processions she walked at the side of Perestu Kadın, ahead of everyone else.[8]

She always wore brown-colored dresses and on her head a hotoz of the same color, fashioned of lace or tulle. She dressed in the Turkish style, with a long train fastened to her waist. Since the sumptuous fabrics she wore were always various shades of brown, this color served as something of a hallmark for her. She wore no jewels whatsoever. Despite this simplicity, her imperial bearing amply conveyed her rank of princess.[8]

Those in a position to know said that she looked just like her father, and indeed from the photographs the eyes and the features are the same. Everyone in the palace felt great respect and fondness for Princess Cemile, holding her in affectionate system. She spoke so graciously and intelligently, not laughing when it was not called for, and exhibiting toward everyone the appropriate conduct due him or her.[8]


Cemile Sultan died at Erenköy, Istanbul on 26 February 1915 at the age of seventy one, and was buried in the mausoleum of her father, Sultan Abdulmejid.[14][15]


Together with Mahmud Celaleddin, Cemile had seven children:

  • Fethiye Hanımsultan, married Colonel Hayri Bey.[16] She died in 1884-85,[12] two months into marriage.[17]
  • Sultanzade Mehmed Celaleddin Bey[18] was born in 1864. He had two wives, Visalinur Hanım[19] and Hayriye Hanım. He had one son, Ziyaeddin Bey, and one daughter, Mevhibe Hanım with Visalinur,[20] and one daughter, Münire Hanım with Hayriye Hanım. He died in 1917.[21][19]
  • Sultanzade Sakıb Bey had two wives, Vicdan Hanım and Dilbeşte Hanım, and two daughters, Şehime Hanım with Vicdan and Emine Hanım with Dilbeşte. He died in 1894-95.[21]
  • Ayşe Sıdıka Hanımsultan,[22] married firstly on 29 January 1891, Hacı Beyefendi, son of Chief of Staff Ferik Edhem Pasha. He dowry was fixed to 250,001 kuruş.[23] She then married Fuad Ürfi Pasha, and had two daughters, Kerime Hanım and Naime Hanım. At the exile of the imperial family in March 1924, she settled in Nice, France.[24] She died in 1938, and was buried in Bobigny cemetery.[25]
  • Fatma Hanımsultan, had tuberculosis, and during this time Nazikeda Kadın, became her closest companion until she married the then Prince Vahideddin (future Sultan Mehmed VI);[26]
  • Sultanzade Ahmed Fazıl Bey (died 1906). He married Hayriye Hanım, and had two sons, Fethi Bey and Refik Bey, and one daughter, Fatma Dürdane Hanım;[21]
  • Sultanzade Mehmed Kazım Bey;

In popular cultureEdit


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Uluçay 2011, p. 221.
  2. ^ Sakaoğlu 2008, p. 618.
  3. ^ Uluçay 2011, p. 217.
  4. ^ Uluçay 2011, p. 220.
  5. ^ Uluçay 2011, p. 225.
  6. ^ Brookes 2010, p. 134.
  7. ^ Kolay, Arif (2017). Osmanlı Saray Hayatından Bir Kesit: Ali Akyıldız ve Mümin ve Müsrif Bir Padişah Kızı Refia Sultan. p. 681.
  8. ^ a b c d Brookes 2010, p. 142.
  9. ^ Sakaoğlu 2008, p. 619.
  10. ^ Brookes 2010, p. 286.
  11. ^ Çağlar, Burhan (11 September 2011). İngiliz Said Paşa ve Günlüğü (Jurnal). Arı Sanat Yayinevi. p. 85. ISBN 978-9-944-74225-2.
  12. ^ a b Bardakçı, Murat (2008). Son Osmanlılar: Osmanlı hanedanı'nın sürgün ve miras öyküsü. İnkılâp. p. 283. ISBN 978-9-751-02616-3.
  13. ^ Brookes 2010, p. 279.
  14. ^ Uluçay 2011, p. 224.
  15. ^ Sakaoğlu 2008, p. 622.
  16. ^ Sakaoğlu 2008, p. 453.
  17. ^ Ertuğrul, Sara (1953). Cec̣miṣ zaman olur ki...anlatan Mevhibe Celalettin. M. Siralar Matbaasi. p. 15.
  18. ^ Tugay, Asaf (1963). Saray dedikodulari ve bazi mâruzat [yazan] Asaf Tugay. Ersa Matbaacilik. p. 20.
  19. ^ a b Atsoy, M. Celâlettin (1982). Kandilli'de tarih. Türkiye Turing ve Otomobil Kurumu. p. 82.
  20. ^ Bey, Mehmet Süreyya (1969). Osmanlı devletinde kim kimdi, Volume 1. Küğ Yayını. pp. 220, 204.
  21. ^ a b c Bardakçı, Murat (1991). Son Osmanlılar: Osmanlı hanedanının sürgün ve miras öyküsü. Gri Yayın. p. 165.
  22. ^ Osmanoğlu, Ayşe (1960). Babam Abdülhamid. Güven Yayınevi. p. 65.
  24. ^ Vâsıb, Ali (2004). Bir Şehzadenin hâtırâtı: vatan ve menfâda gördüklerim ve işittiklerim. YKY. pp. 165, 178, 204. ISBN 978-9-750-80878-4.
  25. ^ Ekinci, Ekrem Buğra (31 March 2017). Sultan Abdülhamid’in Son Zevcesi. Timaş Tarih. p. 82. ISBN 978-6-050-82503-9.
  26. ^ Bardakçı, Murat (2017). Neslishah: The Last Ottoman Princess. Oxford University Press. p. 8. ISBN 978-9-774-16837-6.
  27. ^ "Payitaht Abdülhamid'in Cemile Sultan'ı Devrim Yakut kimdir?". Milliyet. 20 September 2019. Retrieved 2 July 2020.


  • Uluçay, Mustafa Çağatay (2011). Padişahların kadınları ve kızları. Ankara, Ötüken.
  • The Concubine, the Princess, and the Teacher: Voices from the Ottoman Harem. University of Texas Press. 2010. ISBN 978-0-292-78335-5.
  • Sakaoğlu, Necdet (2008). Bu mülkün kadın sultanları: Vâlide sultanlar, hâtunlar, hasekiler, kadınefendiler, sultanefendiler. Oğlak Yayıncılık. ISBN 978-9-753-29623-6.